On the second day of filing nomination, both Edappadi K Palaniswami and O Paneerselvam announced candidates for the Erode East by-elections on behalf of AIADMK.
On Wednesday morning, Palaniswami announced KS Thennarasu would be contesting on behalf of the AIADMK.
Thennarasu, a two-time MLA, is a prominent personality in the constituency.
Thennarasu, who is into the screen printing business, was elected from the Erode constituency in 2001, and from the Erode East constituency in 2016.
A staunch supporter of KA Sengottian, Thennarasu was appointed the party’s secretary of Erode Town by the former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa, and held the position for nearly 10 years.
Soon after the candidate’s name was announced, the AIADMK opened its election office in the constituency.
To the surprise, the name of BJP or its symbol was nowhere on the AIADMK banner or on the posters.
Further, the photo of Narendra Modi or any of the BJP leaders was missing, but the names and photos of other alliance leaders, including the Tamil Maanila Congress’ GK Vasan, was present on the AIADMK banners.
Further, the alliance’s name, in the EPS camp, was also changed to the National Democratic Progressive Alliance (NDPA). Earlier, the alliance name — when the AIADMK was with the BJP — was the National Democratic Alliance (NDA)
Meanwhile, in the evening, O Pannerselvam announced one T Senthil Murugan as his candidate. Speaking to reporters in Chennai after releasing his candidate’s name, Paneerselvam said that he was even ready to withdraw his candidate in case the BJP contested in the Erode East, and would offer his support to the saffron party.
He also said that, as coordinator of the AIADML, he believed that the Election Commission would allot the Two Leaves election symbol to him.
Meanwhile, speaking to reporters at Tiruchy, Tmil Nadu BJP president K Annamalai said that he wanted a strong candidate to contest against the DMK allies in Erode East, and the byelection and the alliance must be viewed in connection with the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.
When asked about the change of the alliance name by EPS, Annamalai said that he would speak about it at the right time.
According to sources from the BJP, the party was shocked and upset over the move of Palaniswami, and Annamalai would be moving to Delhi to meet the BJP high command and discuss the alliance and the stand of the BJP in the by-election.